Tuesday, September 01, 2020

TV Tuesday: Sex Education

I have mentioned before that my favorite kind of comfort TV is shows set in high schools or featuring young people. I have loved Freaks and Geeks, Glee (of course), and more recently, Never Have I Ever and Atypical. Usually, this is a solo obsession of mine (though my husband liked the earlier seasons of Glee), but he's actually the one who discovered our recent favorite, Sex Education. We just finished watching the first two seasons and loved every minute of this warm and often hilarious show set in a British high school.

Gillian Anderson (of X-Files fame) stars, as you've never seen her before, as Jean Milburn, an over-educated sex therapist and book author. Her unfortunate son, Otis (played by Asa Butterfield), is constantly embarrassed by his single mother, who is apt to say anything outrageous in any company, and is overly outspoken and involved in Otis' (so far non-existent) sex life. Otis' best friend is Eric, played by Ncuti Gatwa, who is gay and dresses very flamboyantly. Otis is geeky and awkward and the exact polar opposite of Maeve, played by Emma Mackey, who is super-cool in a kind of dark, punk way, though also something of a loner. When Jean's occupation becomes known at school, kids start coming to Otis for sex advice, which is ridiculous since he has zero experience in that field himself. But, it turns out that Otis has learned a few things after so many years of listening to his mother, and he's not half-bad at it. Maeve convinces Otis to turn it into a money-making venture, with him dispensing advice and her scheduling appointments and handling the money. Pretty much everyone at their high school has sex questions, so it ends up being a pretty profitable business, though Otis develops a crush on his business partner.

This unique premise, combined with an outstanding young cast, and fast-paced, hilarious dialogue makes for a whole lot of fun for viewers. Given Otis and Maeve's business venture, each student in the school gets a chance in the spotlight, including Adam, the principal's son who's a bully hiding a secret; Lily, the girl obsessed with sci/fantasy sex fantasies; and Jackson, the hunky swimmer with two moms who also likes Maeve and may not want to swim any more. The full gamut of sexual problems and predilections is covered in this show very openly, so there are graphic sex scenes and plenty of honest sex talk (so be forewarned if that's not your cup of tea). The show is very, very funny and the writing and acting are great, but it also has wonderful emotional depth and warmth. You really come to care for these kids (and adults) who are struggling so much to figure out their identities and their lives. We loved every episode of the first two seasons and are very excited that a third season has been announced!

Sex Education is a Netflix original show, so you can watch the first two seasons on Netflix. Season three arrives in 2021--we can't wait!


  1. Replies
    1. Glad you like this series, too - we can't wait for season 3!